x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

Apple iPhone 5s Review

Apple iPhone 5s 9.3

Apple iPhone 5s Review
Call Quality

Apple didn’t really expand on anything related to the iPhone 5s’ call quality during its unveiling, so that’s probably why we don’t notice anything different this time around with its quality. In fact, it’s identical to the iPhone 5, as its earpiece emits a potent punch with its volume output – enabling us to comprehend our callers with ease. At the same time, our callers clarify to us that they’re presented with rich, natural sounding voices that aren’t muddied on their end of the line. However, when we switch to its speakerphone, we can make out a subtle hint of distortion with voices, but it’s nothing too detrimental to the experience. Oh yeah, its noise-cancelling feature is yet again spot on this time around, as it instantly is able to mute out background distortions.


Something we’ve come to expect with the announcement of any new iPhone, Apple claims that the iPhone 5s delivers better battery life than its predecessor. Despite the claim, we don’t actually notice any better battery life this time around, since we’re still getting the same 1 day tally of normal usage from a full charge – while heavy usage permits us roughly 10 hours. Considering the newer and more potent processor it’s packing along for the ride, we can’t complain about the single day of usage, but it would be a nice change of pace to see its tally increased from that.

Battery life

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

Higher is better
Apple iPhone 5s
5h 2 min (Poor)
Samsung Galaxy S4
4h 59 min (Poor)
6h 48 min (Average)
View all


Crazy to believe it, but this phone has been seeing competition long before its arrival on the scene. Heck, you can argue that everyone was trying to one-up the iPhone 5s way before the first round of juicy rumors came up to the surface, but now that it’s finally here in the flesh, it’s rather interesting to see how the landscape plays out as we near the busy holiday season – as well as the end of the year. Everyone has been wondering if this particular iPhone can still put up a fight, especially when it’s vying for success in an already crowded market filled with big named smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, Sony Xperia Z1, LG G2, and the Motorola Moto X.

Apple iPhone 5s Review
Apple iPhone 5s Review
From a specs standpoint, we can argue that all those aforementioned smartphones would most certainly manhandle the iPhone 5s multiple times over. However, as consumers are being bombarded on all sides by these specs beasts, the iPhone 5s proves once again something we’ve come to embrace dearly – it works in all the aspects of what makes a smartphone so darn lovable to use. And knowing that, we're sure it’ll continue to be a benchmark device.

Seriously, it’s a premium constructed phone. It has a great quality screen. It’s snappy with its performance. It captures stunning photos and videos. Its call quality is undeniably above average. Its battery life is enough to get us through a single day of normal usage. And yes, even the software on the phone has finally been updated with a more modern presentation. Lastly, it’s just simple to use and operate. So what more can we ask, right?

Obviously, it’s not the most mouthwatering inducing iPhone we’ve seen to date, but considering that it hits the mark in the categories that matter the most, the iPhone 5s proves itself as being a feared competitor in the space. Like we said, there’s nothing in the specs or hardware department that would terrify its rivals, but the updated iOS 7 experience is enough to make this iPhone look and feel different from past ones. That brand new 64-bit A7 processor is unique; however, its true potential isn’t seen or felt that much right now. Rather, we’ll more than likely experience it in the very near future, when third-party app developers begin to take advantage of it. For the money, starting at $200 on-contract, the iPhone 5s is definitely a worthy option fit for your hard earned money.

Software version of the review unit: 7.0.1


  • Updated iOS7 experience
  • Excellent low-lighting photo performance
  • New way of unlocking and app purchasing via Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • Slow motion HD video capture


  • Battery life is no different
PhoneArena rating:
9.3 Excellent
User rating:
8.8 44 Reviews

  • Options

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 07:14 49

1. Xavier1415 (Posts: 38; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)

this phone is trash and apple fanboys will buy anything thats apple smh

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 07:18 35

5. JDogg5281 (Posts: 73; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)

I wouldnt say it is trash...just a little boring the design hasnt really changed since....ever. Same thick box look.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 08:56 15

64. promise7 (Posts: 891; Member since: 03 Jul 2013)

Thick? It's one of the slimmest and lightest smartphones available.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 22:57 6

127. Samsungadroidrules (Posts: 104; Member since: 28 Jul 2013)

Galaxy S4 has 5 inch screen and yet it is Slim and Lightest. Nit to mention its Advanced features. Unlike this Outdated, Boring Over priced iPhone again.

posted on 24 Sep 2013, 09:04 3

132. MobileKicker (Posts: 212; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)

This comes with touch id fingerprint sensor
Does ur dandroid comes with it?

posted on 24 Sep 2013, 20:03 9

136. realnic55 (Posts: 2; Member since: 24 Sep 2013)

If you're buying a two year old Atrix it does.

posted on 29 Sep 2013, 18:56 2

151. rightcue805 (Posts: 55; Member since: 08 Jul 2013)

oooooo it was hacked in the first 3 days.

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 07:52 3

180. MobileKicker (Posts: 212; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)

And "was" updated in the next 3 days

posted on 13 Oct 2013, 06:47 1

173. Alexs21 (unregistered)

Wow it comes with a finger print sensor.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 17:27

186. Neo_Huang (Posts: 1067; Member since: 06 Dec 2013)

That's just a gimmick, and probably just a way for the NSA to get your fingerprint. Besides, haven't you heard of the Vivo Xplay 3s? Or the HTC One Max? Or even some 5 year old phone? Get your facts straight before posting.

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 14:09

194. bob_monkeywarts (Posts: 236; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)

The s5 does. My dandroid also comes with face recognition.

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 10:54

181. Alexs21 (unregistered)

He didn't say it was thick he said it looks thick.

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 14:08

193. bob_monkeywarts (Posts: 236; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)

Right, but it feels thick compared to other phones. Motorola devices are amazingly designed with a curved back, nice materials, and that awesome little "dimple." The iPhone 5s (and the iPhone 5c, and the iPhone 5, and the iPhone 4s, and the iPhone 4, and EVERY IPHONE) is a box that FEELS thick because it's just a slab.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 15:00 3

100. Leo_MC (Posts: 2529; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)

If Rolls Royce lines are borring, than iPhone's are too.

posted on 24 Sep 2013, 09:53 2

133. CtK4949 (Posts: 35; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

Rolls Royce are boring as hell!! Just like the crraple phone!!

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 07:27 18

7. bucky (Posts: 3111; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)

Really? What's trash about it?

Camera? Screen? AppStore? Sound? Speaker? Support? Updates? Software optimization? CPU? Gpu?

I don't get it...

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 13:16 9

91. saffant (Posts: 274; Member since: 04 Jul 2011)

Screen size, and originality (or lack thereof rather).

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 17:05 3

108. Leo_MC (Posts: 2529; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)

Yeah, I carry my 55" plasma; I find 5.7" Note to be sooooooooooo small...
But I'm a 2.5 m giant with 20 cm long fingers so I can easily use the Note, unlike average 170 cm Joe which would have to use 2 hands.

posted on 06 Oct 2013, 08:37 1

170. saffant (Posts: 274; Member since: 04 Jul 2011)

Get a S4 then, or a HTC One/ Nexus 5 etc.

iPhone's 4" screen is a bad.. bad joke.

posted on 02 Oct 2013, 09:56 3

165. MobileKicker (Posts: 212; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)

That's not a strong reason!

posted on 06 Oct 2013, 08:36 1

169. saffant (Posts: 274; Member since: 04 Jul 2011)

Sure it is. That's two BIG reasons. See how people flamed the S4 when it came out cuz it looked to similar to the S3. Well the 5S looks IDENTICAL to the 5.

Also, this is 2013.. 4" screens are dead. In this multimedia age, everyone wants a bigger screen.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 16:38

191. gutuebogdan (Posts: 29; Member since: 16 Oct 2013)

Not everyone wants a bigger screen. 4" for a smarphone is perfect. Everything biger than 4, 3" is perfect for a multimediaphone. Just my opinion.

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 14:11

195. bob_monkeywarts (Posts: 236; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)

You are such a fanboy.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 21:07 3

122. sabres0809 (Posts: 16; Member since: 18 Dec 2012)

No originality. Just a finger print scanner and a processor that won't be relevant because everything is made to run on old processors

posted on 27 Jul 2014, 23:58 1

192. mstar010 (Posts: 1; Member since: 27 Jul 2014)

Are you kidding me? Apple introduced the first touch screen smartphone that was actually good.

I feel like everyone else has no originality making phones with smartphones.

Plus you get incredible build quality with an iPhone only rivaled by an HTC One.

All the other android phones are cheap plastic pos.

posted on 29 Sep 2013, 18:57

152. rightcue805 (Posts: 55; Member since: 08 Jul 2013)

ALL OF IT! The fact that you guys still don't have a removeable battery, no expandable memory. SUPPORT? HA

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 07:27 22

9. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)

Did we expect anything less from iLovers??!!

NO!!!! So, take this review and the content herein as biAsed and, therefore, iNvalid since the reviewer (s) have completely disregarded alllllllllllll of the short-comings with this phone and its' lovely lavender-laced iCon operating system. Nevermind the fact that there are at least 100 things that Android can do that iOS/iDudz CAN NOT. Enjoy the fabriCated review as a TMZ article and nothing more. I'm waiting for the reviews for Galaxy Note 3, HTC One Max and Nokia 1520 (Verizon) to seehow they iSpin their reviews in comparison to this quasiPhone review.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 08:01 7

49. greathero1 (Posts: 575; Member since: 13 Jun 2008)

At some point you are going to have to change it up a bit and kill the silly stuff. You ought to get tired of saying the same cheesy stuff everyday. The phone has reviewed well across numerous tech sites so everybody is wrong but you........get over yourself and calm down. The Note will get a 9.5 so you can claim supremacy again in a couple of weeks.

posted on 26 Sep 2013, 19:35 3

143. darkkjedii (Posts: 24444; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Shhhhhhhhhhh, oh yeah PA already shushed you.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 07:34 16

18. Ninetysix (Posts: 2637; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)

If it's trash, then what would you call all the phones that it beat in benchmarks? Poop? Sh**? Dung? hahaha


* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Display4.0 inches, 640 x 1136 pixels (326 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera8 megapixels
Apple A7, Dual-core, 1300 MHz, Cyclone ARMv8 processor
Size4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 inches
(123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm)
3.95 oz  (112 g)

Latest stories